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CER to Unveil Pivotal 'Rail Manifesto' in Brussels, Charting the Future of European Railways

CER to Unveil Pivotal 'Rail Manifesto' in Brussels, Charting the Future of European Railways
photo: Peter Shaw / Flickr/Railway tracks
17 / 04 / 2024

Today in Brussels, the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) will present its much-anticipated manifesto, "On Track for Europe," at an event hosted in the European Parliament by MEP Dominique Riquet.

This manifesto is set to outline the strategic direction for the European rail sector through 2024-2029, focusing on integrating sustainable and digital transitions into the core of railway operations across the continent. RAILTARGET secured exclusive early insights into this document.

The "On Track for Europe" manifesto details a comprehensive policy framework structured around four foundational pillars:

  • Adequate, "fair, long-term, comprehensive" financing of railways: CER advocates for the need to draw up multiannual contracts between governments and infrastructure managers, as well as attract private resources to meet huge railways' huge investment needs. CER also calls for a larger CEF budget line and the innovative use of EU Green Bonds
  • Fair competition between modes, as current regulatory disparities disadvantage rail vis-à-vis other transport modes like road and aviation, with energy taxation favoring primarily the latter
  • Deployment of rail's key digital enablers, such as ERTMS, FRMCS, DCM, and DAC, that are set to be game changers in the sector
  • Greener approach to market and competition policies that will take EU climate objectives into account. CER urges the EU to align state aid and competition policies more closely with climate goals, potentially through the establishment of a Sovereignty Fund to support equitable growth across member states.

As the railway sector gears up to celebrate its advancements and chart a course for future development, the insights from this manifesto will offer a roadmap for making Europe's transport sector fit for the ecological challenges ahead, so stay tuned with RAILTARGET for an upcoming series of CER's Manifesto detailed overview.